The Competition in Sittacene and the Placating of Sisigambis

Object Details

Title:

The Competition in Sittacene and the Placating of Sisigambis

Artist/Maker(s):

Master of the Jardin de vertueuse consolation and assistant (Flemish, active 3rd quarter of 15th century)

Culture:

French and Flemish

Place(s):

Bruges (illuminated) Belgium Lille (written) France (Place created)

Date:

about 1470 - 1475

Medium:

Tempera colors, gold leaf, gold paint, and ink on parchment

Dimensions:

Leaf: 43.2 x 33 cm (17 x 13 in.)

See more

See less

Before the impressive stone battlements of a conquered city whose gateway is marked with his name, Alexander the Great hosts games among his troops. The games were designed to boost his troops' morale as they marched from Babylon to Susa. Surrounded by dandily dressed members of the army, an acrobat performs gymnastics while another man hoists a large stone. Rather than emphasizing the physical demands of the games, the artist made the soldiers into a splendid sight in robes of rich saturated reds, blues, and greens with gold highlights, giving the miniature a luxurious feel and courtly tone.

The women standing at the right derive from another episode. With their lavish headresses and sumptuous gowns, they represent members of the family of the defeated Persian ruler Darius. Alexander consistently treated these captive women with respect and magnanimity because of their nobility. The artist may have linked this episode with that of the games because both illustrate Alexander's generosity.

Related Works
Exhibitions
"The Visions of Tondal" and Manuscripts from the Time of Margaret of York (April 17 to July 1, 1990)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum, (Malibu), April 17 to July 1, 1990
Illuminating the Renaissance: The Triumph of Flemish Manuscript Painting in Europe (June 17, 2003 to February 22, 2004)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), June 17 to September 7, 2003
  • Royal Academy of Arts (London), November 29, 2003 to February 22, 2004
Fashion in the Middle Ages (May 31 to August 14, 2011)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), May 31 to August 14, 2011
Chivalry in the Middle Ages (July 8 to November 30, 2014)
  • The J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Center, (Los Angeles), July 8 to November 30, 2014
Related Media
  • /
    Audio: The Competition in Sittacene (feat. Melanie Sympson)